Season Unending is a quest available in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Despite warnings about a dragon, the Jarl of Whiterun says that he cannot help with the effort to defeat it unless the Civil War is stopped. Only the Greybeards are in a position to hold a peace council.
- 1 Background
- 2 Objectives
- 3 Walkthrough
- 4 Journal
- 5 Trivia
- 6 Bugs
- Talk to Arngeir
- Talk to General Tullius
- Talk to Ulfric Stormcloak
- Talk to Arngeir
- Take your seat
- Negotiate a truce
The Dragonborn must talk to either Paarthurnax, Arngeir, or Esbern. Whoever is picked will say that they must talk to the Jarl of Whiterun to try and convince him to let them use Dragonsreach, which was originally designed to capture and house a dragon.
Jarl of Whiterun
The Dragonborn tries to enlist the aid of the Jarl Balgruuf the Greater; however, the Jarl will say that he cannot try to capture a dragon while Whiterun is under threat of attack. He says that if a peace treaty can be agreed between the Imperials and the Stormcloaks, he will help capture and hold a dragon. The Jarl will also suggest talking to the Greybeards, as both General Tullius and Ulfric Stormcloak highly respect them.
Should the Dragonborn have already completed the Civil War questline, thus ending Skyrim's Civil War, then this quest will be automatically bypassed. Regardless of whether Whiterun is under the rule of Balgruuf the Greater or Vignar Gray-Mane, the Jarl will agree to capture Odahviing without talking to the Greybeards, and the main questline will be continued.
Getting the two sides to the table
The Dragonborn will speak to the Greybeards, who will agree to help negotiate a truce. Arngeir will suggest the Dragonborn speak to both General Tullius and Ulfric Stormcloak, and extend an invitation to meet with the Greybeards and discuss the future of Skyrim.
Note that if the Dragonborn has not yet chosen a side in the Civil War questline, then upon speaking with both General Tullius and Ulfric the first time, there will be no dialogue option to tell either about the peace conference. Instead, after mentioning Helgen, each will assume that the Dragonborn wants to join their side. Each will direct them to their assistant (either Legate Rikke or Galmar Stone-Fist), and in most cases they will then end the conversation. Approaching each one a second time will now present the option to tell them about the Greybeards and the conference.
After speaking to both parties, returning to Arngeir and speaking with him will allow the conference to begin. However, Delphine and Esbern will show up demanding entrance to the conference representing the Blades. Arngeir initially refuses, but is ultimately persuaded to permit them to join.
Once the peace conference has started, the Dragonborn is given a multitude of options, mostly having to do with the side taken in Civil War questline.
Negotiation 1: Elenwen
As soon as the negotiations begin, Ulfric objects to Elenwen being involved in this council, saying how the Thalmor should have nothing to do with Skyrim's politics. Tullius or Ulfric will ask what the Dragonborn's thoughts are:
- To agree with Tullius and keep Elenwen in the meeting.
- To agree with Ulfric and eject Elenwen from the meeting.
The choice made counts as a 'score' to the side the Dragonborn agrees with. Should the disappointed side not be favored in the next round, they may threaten to leave the negotiations, depending on the Dragonborn's stand in the Civil War. They never will, but will at least say that they feel they are treated unfairly.
Negotiation 2: Markarth or Riften
The next item to discuss is giving up a major Hold.
If the Dragonborn has sided with the Stormcloaks, General Tullius will demand that Riften be turned over to the Empire. Otherwise (either if sided with the Imperials or no side yet selected), Ulfric will demand Markarth be surrendered to the Stormcloaks. The opposing faction's reaction depends on the state of the Civil War: The faction that controls Markarth or Riften asks the Dragonborn what they believe is a fair trade for the city.
The answer is one of three choices:
- An exchange of a major Hold the opposition has. A major hold is one whose capital city is walled. For the purposes of this quest, only The Reach and The Rift can be traded. Being originally neutral, and therefore not part of any trades, Whiterun is excluded for it is implicitly at the heart of the negotiations. The primary goal of the truce is to get the side that does not currently control Whiterun to agree to cease hostilities against this hold.
- An exchange of a minor Hold the opposition has. This is one whose capital city is not walled. For example: Hjaalmarch, Falkreath, Winterhold, or The Pale.
- Alternative dealing with choice in Civil War questline (not available if no side has been chosen yet).
The council goes along with whatever choice is made. The side that controls Markarth or Riften will be unhappy if it is bargained for a minor Hold.
Negotiation 3/NA (Through Console Command): Minor Hold
If a console command is used to do the mission when the Stormcloaks or the Imperials only have their capital left, the other side will down size their demand to a minor hold. Here the Dragonborn has the choice of surrendering a minor hold to the Imperials or the Stormcloaks. There is no difference in the speech other than at the end. If a minor hold is indeed given up, Tullius tells the Dragonborn of his displeasure. He does not use that speech if it is kept. The Stormcloaks will take the deal either way.
Negotiation 4: Concessions
It is now time for the faction that has been favored less (and thus "losing" the negotiations) to ask for additional concessions. For each demand, the Dragonborn can choose whether to agree to the concession. If the Dragonborn continues to favor one side, the other will eventually say that they will, after all, act for the greater good, and they will agree to the terms in any case.
Once the treaty is agreed, the quest is complete. Arngeir summarizes the terms of the agreement, including the new Jarls appointed due to Holds exchanged. If the Dragonborn has joined a side, and the agreement is beneficial or neutral for their side, their chief negotiator (Tullius or Ulfric) will compliment the Dragonborn's efforts and reward them with a leveled weapon.
After completing the peace treaty with both sides, the Civil War questline is halted until the main quest has been fully completed.
If the Dragonborn has sided with the Stormcloaks and has liberated Falkreath in the questline "Liberation of Skyrim," in which the next objective is to liberate the Reach, then it is possible that after completing "Season Unending," the "Liberate the Reach" objective will also be complete. Note that the Liberation questline cannot be completed if the Dragonborn has a bounty in either Windhelm or Solitude.
If the Dragonborn has sided with the Legion and decides to trade the Reach for the Rift, then the quest "Compelling Tribute" in the Civil War questline is skipped.
|Season Unending – MQ302|
|10||The Jarl of Whiterun won't help me capture a dragon as long as the civil war is raging. If I can get the Greybeards to host a peace council, I can try to convince the Imperials and the Stormcloaks to agree to a truce in order to defeat Alduin, who is a threat to both sides in the civil war.
|15||The Jarl of Whiterun won't help me capture a dragon as long as the civil war is raging. Arngeir has agreed to host a peace council at High Hrothgar. I need to convince the Imperials and the Stormcloaks to agree to a truce in order to defeat Alduin, who is a threat to both sides in the civil war.
|300||The Jarl of Whiterun wouldn't help me capture a dragon as long as the civil war was raging. Arngeir agreed to host a peace council at High Hrothgar. With Esbern's help, I persuaded General Tullius and Ulfric Stormcloak to agree to a truce in order to defeat Alduin, who is a threat to both sides in the civil war.
- Whether Paarthurnax has been killed or not will affect the dialogue between Delphine, Esbern and Arngeir during the Blades' request to attend the negotiations.
- Evgiir Unslaad, or "Season Unending" is the Ancient Nordic term for war. This is revealed through dialogue with Arngeir, which further reflects his opposition to war and his pessimism about the usefulness of the peace treaty.
- It is implied that Ulfric Stormcloak already knew Delphine before the events of "Season Unending." While listening to Esbern, he asks Delphine if Esbern is with her, referring to her by name. There is no dialogue during the quest to suggest that the two are meeting for the first time in High Hrothgar.
- Dual casting Frenzy coupled with Quiet Casting on the council can create chaos, causing them to fight against each other. Despite this, neither side of the conflict will become hostile to the other or end the council.
- Elenwen will not react in any way to the presence of either Delphine or Esbern, despite both being priority targets of the Thalmor. She will also have some threatening dialogue for the Dragonborn if spoken to, along the lines of knowing exactly who they are and remembering them from the Embassy infiltration.
- In pure diplomatic terms, the best outcome of the negotiations that can be achieved is to gain one major and one minor Hold for trading one major Hold only. The "price" for this is to agree to the opposing party's request about Elenwen (e.g., sending her away if the Dragonborn sides with the Imperials). Although the chief negotiator will announce that the terms of the treaty clearly favor the other side, he will then silently admit that the Dragonborn has done well and grant an item reward.
- The Dragonborn can back out of conversation when both Ulfric and Tullius speak to them. In addition, they can tell them that they are not interested in dealing with politics. If this is done for both sides, then Markarth will be taken by the Stormcloaks, and Riften will be taken by the Imperials.
- When finalizing the truce, Arngier will say "step down," acting as if the affected Jarls willingly accepted the terms, when they, depending on which side of the war they supported, will really be banished to either Windhelm or Solitude, respectively.
- This quest is skipped if the Civil War questline has already been completed, regardless of who the Dragonborn sided with. It will also be skipped if either Windhelm or Solitude is the only remaining city that has yet to be taken.
This section contains bugs related to Season Unending. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:
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|Skyrim Main Quests|
|Act I||Unbound • Before the Storm • Bleak Falls Barrow • Dragon Rising • The Way of the Voice |
The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller
|Act II||A Blade in the Dark • Diplomatic Immunity • A Cornered Rat • Alduin's Wall • The Throat of the World |
Elder Knowledge • Alduin's Bane
|Act III||Season Unending • The Fallen • The World-Eater's Eyrie • Sovngarde |
Dragonslayer • Epilogue